They're Watching You!
The transformation of your baby to a toddler and eventually a young adult can be difficult for a parent. Most parents have hopes and dreams planned for their child before they are even born. You happen to love baseball, basketball and the traditional sports, so who would have ever guessed that your child would be begging for a dirt bike and requesting to race? No parent can know what their child will eventually like or dislike, however you do still have power over their behavior and manners. Since behaviors and manners are learned, it is okay to assume that as a parent, you can have influence over your child’s routines. This influence is essential in oral health. Children aren’t born with the knowledge that they need to brush their teeth and floss every night. They learn from their parents! When you put an importance on oral health from a young age by cleaning an infant’s gums every night or by brushing your toddler’s 4 teeth, you teach them that this behavior must continue into adulthood. Leading by example can be difficult for parents as we are all human and make mistakes. However, it is very important to remember that your actions today could turn into your child’s actions 10 years from now! Going to bed without brushing your teeth once or twice a week could lead your child to believe this is acceptable, putting your child at risk of being plagued by cavities their entire lives. Teaching your child good behaviors when they are young will not only benefit your kid, but it can also help take away some parenting pressure later in life. Imagine having to check your teenager’s teeth before bed each night (yikes). Educate your child about the importance of oral health today, and you won’t have to! The best way to teach your child healthy oral hygiene routines – lead by example because whether you realize it or not, they are watching!